Golden State No Longer: A Disaffected Californian’s Thoughts on Escaping from America’s Greece

I recently trekked back to California to visit my family and enjoy some downtime after two months in the District.  I certainly needed some R&R to recharge and relax. (The political arena is a hectic albeit wonderful sphere to be immersed in. I’ve learned that any getaway you get shouldn’t be taken for granted.)  I had the chance to see some friends, visit my extended family, and finally went to  the Ronald Reagan President Library in Simi Valley, CA. It was a much-needed trip!

Now, I’m back in Northern Virginia and ready to resume my job.  I’ve got wonderful Field Representatives working with me, and have connected with many eager and bright students excited to shake things up on their campuses. I’ll be traveling up North soon and will be sure to chronicle each trip I make (when time permitted).

With this recent trip back home, it dawned upon me that I will not be back to CA for a very long time. While I’ll miss my home state, I have no regrets moving to the DC-metro area. Yes, it’s muddled with corruption – but it’s full of life and culture unseen on the West Coast. I will always be a proud yet disaffected Californian, and certainly one for the right reasons. Some will accuse me of betraying my roots for fleeing the state. (Mind you, there are no jobs for young people – or any Californian – given the dismal economic and moral state it is in.) I seized an opportunity to work for a conservative nonprofit – Leadership Institute – and took it.

As a California refugee taking shelter in the Commonwealth, I have some interesting observations about my home state now that I no longer live there. Here are the reasons why I’m happy I left:

- Outstanding, high state government debt: As of August 28, 2012, California’s debt rests at $617 billion – the highest total state debt in the entire country according to State Budget Solutions. Need I say more?

-Democrat-controlled state legislature: Both the State Senate and Assembly are controlled by Democrats who  have ushered in radical and arguably anti-American legislation. For example, legislation includes the multiple parents bill, gay history in K-12, abortion carried out by mid-wives/nurses,  DREAM Act, bans on open carry of handguns, and more.

- Endless call for more taxes: Since the return of Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) as Governor, there are more calls for taxing wealthy individuals in the Golden State. Brown and his allies are pushing Prop. 30 on the November ballot, which would “increase California’s sales tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years. It calls for an increase in state income tax on taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 a year for the next seven years,” according to CBS L.A. AEI president Arthur C. Brooks writes in “The Road to Freedom” that when presenting the moral case for free enterprise, it is important reduce spending, not add more taxes, when solving budget problems.

-Welfare state: Yahoo!  reported in December 2011 that California, the largest welfare state in the U.S., “has one-eighth of the nation’s population but one-third of all welfare recipients.”

-Too much spent on education coupled with corrupt teachers unions: Total expenditures (plus state bonds) for education in Fiscal Year 2012-2013, including K-12 and higher education, totaled 35.7 percent of California’s state budget,  or $39,575,109 for K-12 and $10,050,905 for higher education as of May 2012. Tuition hikes plague the University of California and California State University systems, and administrators continue to receive high salaries. (As someone who recently graduated from a UC school, I see the problem beset in education, much like the state budget, in refusal to gut waste and deny tenure/pensions to professors undeserving of it.) Another problem plaguing education in California is corruption in the California Teachers Association and similar teachers unions, whose bosses and members are too concerned about their salaries and benefits – not the welfare of their students. (California is in great need of school choice legislation. It would diminish teachers unions and dramatically improve education there.) When a sex scandal hit LAUSD last year (think worst school district in the nation), the teachers unions – in true fashion –  refused to address the issue and supported the defeat of a bill that would have tackled it, according to CNN:

While senators overwhelmingly voted in support of Senate Bill 1530, it was met with strong opposition from the powerful California Teachers Association.

The teachers’ union says that Padilla’s bill would have eliminated essential legal protections for teachers and that it believes the current system is an appropriate process.

Additionally, the CTA protects bad teachers thanks to tenure. It is also a big political player in Sacramento.

(There’s a lot to discuss regarding education in California, so I’ll detail it in a future post.)

-Illegal immigration: Illegal immigration has proven to be burdensome to the Golden State. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed the California DREAM Act – AB 130 (private scholarships)and AB 131 (public scholarships). This gave children of illegal immigrants and young illegal immigrants access to tuition regardless of their citizenship. Another crippling move that has emboldened illegal immigration is the DMV’s plan to issue drivers licenses to approximately 400,000 young illegals. Talk about oy vey…

There are many problems facing California – too many to list in a single blog post. It pains me to see my home state falter and become like Greece. I’ll even go so far as to call it a state riddled by Marxist and La Raza interests. Unfortunately, the Golden State must collapse and build anew. Otherwise, I’ll maintain that it is a lost cause.

Although I rag on California often, I will admit this: I’m glad I spent my formative years living there. I learned right from wrong, learned who to trust/who not to trust, enjoyed the beaches and nice weather, got my political start, was surrounded by family, and got to see leftist abuses at work.

“You can take the girl out of California, but you can never take the California out of the girl.”

Legal Immigrants More Dangerous Than Illegal Immigrants? Californians for Population Stabilization Says Yes (Headdesk is in Order)

While watching MSNBC last night, I saw this startling ad from California for Population Stabilization.

The ad reveals that legal immigrants are taking jobs away from Californians…

Illegal immigrants, not legal immigrants, are problematic in this state.

The same people who want amnesty and pardons via the DREAM Act are now calling for the elimination of legal immigrant workers. Pathetic and sick.

As the daughter of LEGAL immigrants to this country, I can say that encouraging more legal immigration, enforcing laws, eliminating dependency/handouts for illegals and their children, plus a whole host of other options, will fix the current problem.

Don’t be duped by Democrats and La Raza.

California DREAM Act Proves Nightmarish for Residents

Cross-posted from Truth About Bills

Recently, Governor Jerry Brown signed part one of California’s DREAM Act into law.

This particular bill, which gives funding to illegal immigrant students, is blatant amnesty. This particular legislation comprises two parts—AB 130 and AB 131. The author of both bills is Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles).

AB 130 grants private scholarships to illegal immigrant students who qualify under this provision. Brown signed the bill into law on July 25, 2011:

This bill would provide that, on and after January 1, 2012, a student attending the California State University, the California Community Colleges, or the University of California who is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the provision described above would be eligible to receive a scholarship derived from nonstate funds received, for the purpose of scholarships, by the segment at which he or she is a student.

Part two (AB 131) grants public funds to qualifying illegal immigrant students. This provision was passed in the State Senate Appropriations Committee on August 26th, 2011. The legislature has until September 9 to pass it, and Governor Brown has until September 30 to sign the bill into law:

This bill would exempt a student who has attended, for 3 or more years, at least one of which shall have been in a high school, and graduated from, secondary school in California from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges and the California State University.

Interestingly enough, Governor Brown might veto AB131.

Gov. Brown seems to have made his broader philosophical decision on the question of providing support for students who are in the country illegally,” Schnur said. “Now he’s got to decide whether he can afford it. It’s a much more difficult decision than the first one.

Nevertheless, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia) believes that this bill will further cripple California’s economy.

“AB 131, the second part of the California `DREAM Act,’ is a nightmare for citizens,” Donnelly said. “Students are already struggling to pay increased tuition and many cannot even get into the classes they need, but the Legislature continues to pretend we can afford this entitlement. The simple truth is, everyone including the governor knows we can’t.”

California faces a budget shortfall of 26 billion dollars.  Universities across the Golden State are already facing massive budget cuts.  Rest assured, the California DREAM Act will be a nightmare for taxpayers.

*UPDATE: California State Senate passed its own version of AB 131.

“Big Business Monkeys” Are Coming to Take UCSD’s Books Away?! Not Quite

The war over budget cuts at the University of California–one between leftists in the administration/professors and the UC Regents–is getting heated.

Watch out, fellow Tritons! Big Business Monkeys are going after our books at UCSD.

What is a big business monkey, you might ask? Simply the invention of one student who is dismayed by capitalism and is looking to make a scapegoat out of it.

Understandably, the university has no right depriving us of books. School officials always talk about children and optimal education, but most fail to deliver providing such quality education.

Professors and administrative officials arguably make too much money, and leave us–the students–with limited resources.

This finding is confirmed by The California Review:

UC student costs 1997-2011 vs CA state funding
• Also: # of Faculty and # of Senior Administrators.
• Student Fee is full student fee. State Funding is CA funding to the UC General Fund. Both are adjusted for inflation to CPI-U.
• The # of Faculty is full-time-hours equivalent of regular ladder-based faculty (most common type of faculty).
• The # of Senior Management is full SMG (Senior Management Group) & MSP (Manager and Senior Professional) count.

Watch this video. Although it addresses the problem of library closures, it vilifies the privatization of education and is full of inaccuracies.

From the Facebook event:

Education should be a public resource. Don’t let the Big Business Monkeys cut such an important part of our education at UCSD. Prevent the sale of books by borrowing as many books as you possibly can. Exercise your right as a UCSD student! Borrow a shit ton of books. It’s all based on this complex logical system derived in the highest minds of this supposedly prestigious institution:

Libraries cannot sell books, that they do not have.

So let’s remind UCSD that such frivolous cuts in this vital student resource will not be tolerated by fucking with them during the first week of school.

Just check out books, you should check out books you’re interested in. Let your check outs be representative of the subjects you as a student are interested in. Don’t feel like you have to read all of them, but let it show that students from all majors love the library system and need such an institution to keep a diverse collection. Show that such budget cuts on student resources is an intolerable and irresponsible decision.

Let’s have fun with this, tell your friends, will improve description in due time.

“I can only speak for one of the libraries on campus, but while books are regularly churned out of the stacks, there is an equal amount that is constantly being pumped in to the stacks to compensate. I don’t think it is necessarily a cause for panic. Facilities and operation hours are in much more jeopardy, and should probably be the focus.”

-> On this note, let’s publicize these concerns as well. This is purely gonzo logic, symbolism over action since we’re all minions in the UC game after all. Use the system to bring this issue to the forefront, confront the Capitalist concerns for what they are, show how the UC system is becoming more privatized and putting the students and their resources on the back burner. Check out that copy of Rings of Saturn that you’ve been meaning to read ever since you got into the writings of Walter Benjamin, I don’t know, say more and add to the discussion! let’s make this a learning experience, since that’s what you’re here for other than that piece of shiny paper.

In these difficult times, it is not (ever) wise to blame capitalism for the UC system’s financial failures. Instead, look to the people in charge and the exorbitant costs they’ve generated. It’s time that the higher ups (professors, administration) sacrifice too. Stop wasting our tax dollars.